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Expansion of slash-and-burn agriculture
The fields are usually made on land where almost all the trees are cut down and the vegetation burnt. The first few years the land is fertile, but gradually the soils become poorer. After three to four years, the farmer is forced to clear another area. The initial plot is abandoned, and it takes several decades of fallow state before it is workable again. In the Nimba Mountains landscape, farmers shorten the fallow period because of the need for land. This makes crops less productive and leads to the clearing of new forests, at the expense of the remaining natural forests.